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Friday, December 30, 2016

Ready to Party? Safety First, Please!


By Bill Fortune

Are you ready to ring in the new year? For some of us it means having some friends over to watch the ball drop and for others it means going out to join the crowds. In either case the Red Cross recommends that you party responsibly and remember, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk!"  Besides, nobody wants to start a new year with a DUI, car accident or a trip to the emergency room.

Our partners at AAA offer this link AAA Sober Ride so you can get a free ride home almost anywhere in the country.

Here are some tips that just might help you out.

1. Have a designated driver or just don't drink and drive. Ask someone for a ride, or use Uber. See the AAA link above
2. Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm - 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
3. Monitor your alcohol intake. If you are drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with water and that you have enough to eat.
4. Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home. 
5. Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians or bicyclists.
6. Be careful with what you're sharing on social media. You might be embarrassed when you look at it later and you could put yourself at risk.  If "they" know where you are you are vulnerable! 
7. Ask guests to turn their keys in and put them in a secure place if you're hosting a party.
8. Make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.
9. Offer two types of drinks and drinking cups at your party - one for adult beverages and the other for non-alcoholic beverages. This will keep the alcohol away from children.
10. Do not serve minors alcohol.
11. You've heard of the saying, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." Be aware of anyone who brings dangerous fireworks at your home or at a party that you are attending. A homeowner can be held criminally and civilly liable for any damage done by safe or unsafe fireworks.
12. You'll hear about it -- someone shooting guns into the air. Firing weapons in the air is a violation of the law.
13. Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks and other loud noises.
14. Check your fence, gate latches and pet area before New Year's Eve to ensure your pets can't get out.
15. Make sure pets have a collar with a tag with your information.
16. Be careful with matches, open flames and fireworks. Home fires increase when people are careless. 
17. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can call for help if needed.
18. Dressing stylishly may be glamorous but dressing for the weather, especially the wind chill, is safer. Here is a link to safety information from the National Weather Service
19. Down load the free Red Cross First Aid app. It can help you help others in an emergency. Visit redcross.org/apps to download or get it from your favorite app provider.

Here's hoping that you have a safe, happy and prosperous new year! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Red Cross Helps 39 People after Home Fires in Just Seven Days

American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, December 26, 2016 — The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responds to calls for assistance, on average, twice a day. Just last week, there were 14 calls for emergency assistance to help with multiple types of disasters, including fires and floods. * Of the 39 people helped, at least 15 were children under the age of 18 including two infants. Three of those assisted were age 60 or older.

Breakdown of Service Provided:
Mile High Chapter (MHC): 5 individuals received aid; 2 were under 18 years old including 1 infant. One person was age 60 or older. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.
Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SECO): 28 individuals received aid; 14 of those helped were under 18 years old, including one infant. The SECO response area includes 16 counties.
Western Colorado Chapter (WCO): Four individuals received aid all between 18 and 60 years-of-age. The WCO response area covers 27 counties, serving all western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.
Wyoming Chapter: One individuals received aid who was over 60 years-of-age.
The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.

The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.


*Reported numbers are for the dates: December 19-25, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Volunteers Make Things Happen; Weekly Highlight for December 19, 2016


The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responds to calls for assistance, on average, twice a day. Just last week, December 12-18, there were just over 20 calls for emergency assistance to help with multiple types of disasters; including fires, floods and building collapses. Of the 64 people helped, at least 21 were children under the age of 18 including two infants. Six of those assisted were age 60 or older. Volunteers make this level of response happen, regularly. In addition to all the other amazing things our volunteers do every day.


Read on and learn more about:

  1. International Red Cross Responses in Syria
  2. Learn How to Become Prepared and How Teach Others to Become Prepared!
  3. Join Us for our Staff Services Institute, January 28 and 29
  4. Volunteer Opportunity to Support your Local Military
  5. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to Support Upcoming Events
    1. Air National Guard Pre-Deployment Yellow Ribbon, Sunday Jan 08, 2017
    2. Mass Care Workday, Saturday, Jan 14, 2016
    3. Air Force Reserves - Yellow Ribbon, Saturday Jan 21, 2017
  6. Reminder to Log Your Hours

  1. International Red Cross Responses in Syria
We want to share this summary of the work of the Red Cross in the continuing upheaval in Syria, especially as it concerns Aleppo where teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Red Crescent are evacuating people from eastern Aleppo.  Our International communicator, Jenelle Eli at national HQ, has been following the situation closely and will continue to update the story on RedCross.org. 

 
  1. Learn How to Become Prepared and How Teach Others to Become Prepared!
On January 7th from 9am-5pm The Mile High Area will be hosting a Preparedness Facilitator Academy. This is your chance to learn how to deliver all of our preparedness programs: Be Red Cross Ready, Pillowcase Project, Home Fire Campaign, Ready Rating and a new program, Active Threat. Interested individuals will also learn how to train volunteers to deliver services. Please contact Prepare Colorado Program Specialist Diana Rawles at diana.rawles@redcross.org for more information on instructing classes.

Prerequisites for Home Fire Campaign, Pillowcase Project, and Instructor training are listed in the attached information sheet; these will accelerate the certifications for delivering and training new volunteers. Lunch will be provided and you are encouraged to bring a friend who would be interested in volunteering in the future. I have attached a flyer with more information and you can register here. Space will be limited so please sign up early!

This is a great opportunity to renew your volunteer commitment to the Red Cross and to learn more about what the Red Cross does to prepare communities before a disaster hits! Looking forward to seeing you there.

  1. Join Us for our Staff Services Institute, January 28 and 29
Would you enjoy being behind the scenes?  Talking to other volunteers?  Supporting both local and national disasters without leaving home? If you answered yes, Staff Services is looking for you!

Staff Services is responsible for getting the right people, at the right time, where they need to be to support a disaster response, and to ensure our staff and volunteers needs are met. Tasks may include deploying volunteers to another state to assist in hurricane recovery, calling local chapter members about a shelter opening from a nearby wildfire, managing event based volunteers during a local DR, coordinating lodging, and so much more. Also, much of the work we do is from the comfort of our own home!  We will be hosting a Staff Services Institute on January 28 and 29, and we hope you can join us! 

If you are interested, there is some work to do ahead of time, but it won’t take much more than an hour or two. Contact us for more information:  troy.staples@redcross.org.

  1. Volunteer Opportunity to Support your Local Military
Your local military community needs your support! Will you answer the call and assist the Red Cross in helping members of the military, veterans and families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service by volunteering as a briefer at newcomer orientations and/or pre-deployment town halls? The intent of the briefings is to educate the service members and their families on Red Cross services, particularly the Emergency Communications Messages. To learn more of the importance of this service, please view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2O2gBguX6Y

Volunteers are needed who can commit to a regular shift. The following shifts are in need of your support:
National Guard – Ad Hoc Saturdays 
Upcoming Events include: January 8 & March 4


Also, if you are willing to travel to Colorado Springs area and are a military ID cardholder and can commit to a regular recurring shift, these shifts are also in need of support:
Fort Carson – 3rd Tuesday of the Month 
Fort Carson – 4th Tuesday of the Month 
Fort Carson – 5th Tuesday of the Month 
Peterson AFB – 4th Monday of the Month
Peterson AFB – 5th Monday of the Month
Peterson AFB – 1st Saturday of the Month

The briefings are typically scheduled for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. There is additional online training and shadowing that must be completed prior to volunteering.
If you are interested, please contact Tim Bothe via email at Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org or at 303-607-4785.

  1. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to Support Upcoming Events
The Red Cross has some upcoming events and we need your help to make them a success. The events are all posted in Volunteer Connection (hover over the “My Shifts” tab, and select the “American Red Cross – Events” option.  Or click this link to be directed to the page) awaiting you to self-register, but should you encounter difficulties, you can also email the Red Cross POC for the event for assistance. As a reminder, all events registered for in “My Shifts” in Volunteer Connection will automatically track your hours, so you do not need to independently submit for those hours! Basic on the job training to be provided.

Some of the Opportunities to support our mission are:

Air National Guard Pre-Deployment Yellow Ribbon
  • Date: Sunday Jan 08, 2017
  • Description: Staff an informational table and help educate service members and their families on Red Cross services.
Mass Care Workday 
  • Date:  Saturday, Jan 14, 2016
  • Description:  Every 2nd Saturday of the month our volunteers of the Red Cross participate in a workday to ensure all Mass Care supplies are Red Cross Ready.
Air Force Reserves - Yellow Ribbon
  • Date: Saturday Jan 21, 2017
  • Description: Staff an info table and distribute info about Red Cross services and programs. Anticipate 350 members for pre- and post-.

At least one volunteer must take Red Cross vehicle with supplies day of and pick key up from Red Cross office the day before between 0800-1600
Report and check-in by 0700 AM at registration table. Orientation briefing @ 0715.
One or both volunteers will participate in Parade of Stars around 0930 (you do not talk, just simply be introduced as Red Cross)
Breakfast and lunch is provided by Yellow Ribbon.

  1.  Reminder to Log Your Hours

As a reminder, please log your hours for any time spent volunteering, training, and meeting, as well as traveling to and from any activities.  We appreciate all you do and recognize your time is valuable. In fact, it has a direct impact on the financial well-being of the organization in the eyes of our supporters. If you have any trouble logging hours, please feel free to contact your Volunteer Services lead. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Veteran Thankful for Red Cross Support

By Mary Urban

Veteran Don Rinehart admits that he never thought he would find himself in a situation where he had no income or transportation, and difficulties staying employed. Don is a 61-year old vet battling PTSD and depression.  He shared his experience of daily life with Red Cross, explaining the isolation and living conditions that are experienced by many veterans, fearing others don’t understand the
Thank you card from Don Rhinehart
issues and everyday challenges due to the trauma he and other veterans have endured.  Don states “self-isolation” is very common, but isolation can be a road to suicide.  Don emphasized that attempts to break the isolation or being in the company of others may present on-going struggle for himself and other veterans, and the pressure to “act normal” is difficult to endure.

Don is very passionate about reading and writing, and uses these tools as well as sketching as a form of therapy to express and explore the struggles and isolation he experiences. But, Don also shares he loves to write “uplifting stories that give hope.” He has drafted four books but has had “literal computer meltdowns”   using outdated or older, refurbished computers, and eventually found himself without one altogether. The Red Cross in collaboration with his VA case manager provided Don with a new laptop.  He expressed  in his amazing and beautiful letter to Red Cross his sincerest thanks and gratitude for the gift of a new computer, and what it meant to him. Don says, “Writing gives me a reason to hope and to live. I write for me, not to be published or to make money, but to fight for my life.”
Portion of the thank you card text sent by Don Rhinehart

Since WWI, the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program (SAF) was instituted to aid America’s military and veterans. The American Red Cross supports the recovery and rehabilitation of service members and veterans. In collaboration with medical authorities / case managers, the Red Cross may provide medically and/or educationally beneficial material support to wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans who are receiving in-patient or out-patient care in a military or Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility within Colorado or Wyoming. Contact your VA case manager for further information.

The Red Cross is extremely grateful to Don for his military service and for sharing his story. We wish him the best in his writing and overcoming his struggles.

Red Cross workers provide emotional support for members of the military and their families by participating in a variety of events and programs organized both by the Red Cross and by partner agencies. Learn more about our 100+ years of service to our service members, their families and veterans at SAF program.

Learn more about the Hero Care app! The app is designed to put vital Red Cross services right at the fingertips of our service members, veterans and their families. Visit  Red Cross Apps page


Monday, December 12, 2016

Volunteers Make Things Happen; Weekly Highlight for December 12, 2016

Each week we will highlight some important updates and information you might be interested in knowing! For instance, did you know, between November 28 and December 11, YOU helped 52 people including 15 children? It’s true. We had requests for emergency relief due to flooding, fire, and a building collapse in the past two weeks and we were there…because of YOU. Thank you!

Read on to:  

  1. Learn How to Become Prepared and How to Teach Others to Become Prepared!
  2. Join Us for our Staff Services Institute, January 28 and 29
  3. Volunteer Opportunity to Support your Local Military
  4. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to Support Upcoming Events
    1. Air National Guard Pre-Deployment Yellow Ribbon, Sunday Jan 08, 2017
    2. Mass Care Workday, Saturday, Jan 14, 2016
    3. Air Force Reserves - Yellow Ribbon, Saturday Jan 21, 2017
  5. Reminder to Log Your Hours
 ________________________________________________________

  1. Learn How to Become Prepared and How Teach Others to Become Prepared!
On January 7th from 9am-5pm The Mile High Area will be hosting a Preparedness Facilitator Academy. This is your chance to learn how to deliver all of our preparedness programs: Be Red Cross Ready, Pillowcase Project, Home Fire Campaign, Ready Rating and a new program, Active Threat. Interested individuals will also learn how to train volunteers to deliver services. Please contact Prepare Colorado Program Specialist Diana Rawles at diana.rawles@redcross.org for more information on instructing classes.

Prerequisites for Home Fire Campaign, Pillowcase Project, and Instructor training are listed in the attached information sheet; these will accelerate the certifications for delivering and training new volunteers. Lunch will be provided and you are encouraged to bring a friend who would be interested in volunteering in the future. I have attached a flyer with more information and you can register here. Space will be limited so please sign up early!

This is a great opportunity to renew your volunteer commitment to the Red Cross and to learn more about what the Red Cross does to prepare communities before a disaster hits! Looking forward to seeing you there.

  1. Join Us for our Staff Services Institute, January 28 and 29
Would you enjoy being behind the scenes?  Talking to other volunteers?  Supporting both local and national disasters without leaving home? If you answered yes, Staff Services is looking for you!

Staff Services is responsible for getting the right people, at the right time, where they need to be to support a disaster response, and to ensure our staff and volunteers needs are met. Tasks may include deploying volunteers to another state to assist in hurricane recovery, calling local chapter members about a shelter opening from a nearby wildfire, managing event based volunteers during a local DR, coordinating lodging, and so much more. Also, much of the work we do is from the comfort of our own home!  We will be hosting a Staff Services Institute on January 28 and 29, and we hope you can join us! 

If you are interested, there is some work to do ahead of time, but it won’t take much more than an hour or two: please take the prerequisite classes listed on the attached sheet. Instructions on how to find them on EDGE are also attached. Once those are completed, RSVP to troy.staples@redcross.org.

  1. Volunteer Opportunity to Support your Local Military
Your local military community needs your support! Will you answer the call and assist the Red Cross in helping members of the military, veterans and families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service by volunteering as a briefer at newcomer orientations and/or pre-deployment town halls? The intent of the briefings is to educate the service members and their families on Red Cross services, particularly the Emergency Communications Messages. To learn more of the importance of this service, please view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2O2gBguX6Y

Volunteers are needed who can commit to a regular shift. The following shifts are in need of your support:
National Guard – Ad Hoc Saturdays – 1100-1200
Upcoming Events include:
December 3
January 8
March 4

Also, if you are willing to travel to Colorado Springs area and are a military ID cardholder and can commit to a regular recurring shift, these shifts are also in need of support:
Fort Carson – 3rd Tuesday of the Month – 0730-0800
Fort Carson – 4th Tuesday of the Month – 0730-0800
Fort Carson – 5th Tuesday of the Month – 0730-0800
Peterson AFB – 4th Monday of the Month – 1245-1345
Peterson AFB – 5th Monday of the Month – 1245-1345
Peterson AFB – 1st Saturday of the Month – 0930-1030

The briefings are typically scheduled from 10 - 30 minutes. There is additional online training and shadowing that must be completed prior to volunteering. If you are interested, please contact Tim Bothe via email at Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org or at 303-607-4785.

  1. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to Support Upcoming Events
The Red Cross has some upcoming events and we need your help to make them a success. The events are all posted in Volunteer Connection (hover over the “My Shifts” tab, and select the “American Red Cross – Events” option.  Or click this link to be directed to the page) awaiting you to self-register, but should you encounter difficulties, you can also email the Red Cross POC for the event for assistance. As a reminder, all events registered for in “My Shifts” in Volunteer Connection will automatically track your hours, so you do not need to independently submit for those hours! Basic on the job training to be provided.

Some upcoming opportunities to support our mission are listed below. Email Kristen at kristen.gietzen@redcross.org if you’re interested in any of these:

Air National Guard Pre-Deployment Yellow Ribbon
·         Description: Staff an informational table and help educate service members and their families on Red Cross services.

Mass Care Workday 
  • Description:  Every 2nd Saturday of the month our volunteers of the Red Cross participate in a workday to ensure all Mass Care supplies are Red Cross Ready.

Air Force Reserves - Yellow Ribbon
·         Description: Staff an info table and distribute info about Red Cross services and programs. Anticipate 350 members for pre- and post-.
At least one volunteer must take Red Cross vehicle with supplies day of and pick key up from Red Cross office the day before between 0800-1600
Report and check-in by 0700 AM at registration table. Orientation briefing @ 0715.
One or both volunteers will participate in Parade of Stars around 0930 (you do not talk, youre just simply introduced as Red Cross)
Breakfast and lunch is provided by Yellow Ribbon.

  1.  Reminder to Log Your Hours
As a reminder, please log your hours for any time spent volunteering, training, and meeting, as well as traveling to and from any activities.  We appreciate all you do and recognize your time is valuable. In fact, it has a direct impact on the financial well-being of the organization in the eyes of our supporters. If you have any trouble logging hours, please feel free to contact your Volunteer Services lead. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Starting a new family is disrupted by home fire...Red Cross helps

The Pandora home after the fire. Photo \
courtesy Peter Pandora
By Lindsay Hale Murdock

Lists, numerous options, too many choices… Peter and Melissa Pandora wandered through the aisles putting their baby registry together for their first child. Melissa is 3 months pregnant and they both were having all of the new parent thoughts that can be all consuming. That is, until a call came in from a neighbor. They dismissed it to call later, but then another call from another neighbor came in. Peter thought he better answer, as it seemed a bit out of the ordinary. Sure enough, they needed to drop everything and get home as quickly as they could. Their home was being consumed by an apartment fire.

First thoughts were of their beloved pets, whom they thought they left safe at home. Were neighbors safe? Peter flew through traffic to get to the scene, following an ambulance into the complex, fearing the worst. He pushed through the gathering crowd, but was held just out of reach, feeling completely helpless as he watched firefighters providing medical treatment to his pets, who had been rescued by the apartment manager, a neighbor, and the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Blue, his service dog, was limp on the ground. His two cats, Milo and Benson were unconscious.
Fear, anxiety and a surreal cloud of disbelief engulfed the Pandora family in those crucial moments. “For my animals, it means a lot. They risked their own lives for us and I’m super grateful,” Peter said of the neighbors and firefighters who rescued his pets.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, stabilize their dog and cats, and even rescue their pet turtle. Although the animals needed additional medical care, they all survived. A video of the rescue is available from 9News on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ilike9news/videos/10154392497251077/.
Blue, a service dog, recovers from
injuries. Photo courtesy Peter
Pandora

Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers arrived and assisted the Pandora family, along with another family effected by the apartment fire that destroyed two units of the Antero Apartments in Colorado Springs. Red Cross provided immediate assistance for the families, including personal hygiene items, funds for temporary lodging and to replace lost clothing. They also provided information and referrals for community resources along with information about how to salvage some items from smoke damage. “They were super supportive,” Peter said about the Red Cross volunteers. “I know if I called and needed anything at all they would help. It was really nice to have their support,” Peter said of the Red Cross DAT volunteers.

Peter and Melissa were devastated when they were able to return to their apartment to assess the damage. Memorabilia lost, treasured tapestries in tatters, most of their possessions destroyed. Luckily they were able to salvage some memories and documents. Their animals remained in intensive care for three days, and are on their way to recovery, thanks to quick thinking community members.

Milo and Benson recovering from
injuries. Photo courtesy Peter Pandora
Through the ordeal, Peter and Melissa have been assisted by the Red Cross along with other local agencies and businesses, who all reached out to help them. “It’s so different here than New Hampshire,” he said. “I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of help and community from everyone around…It’s just very emotional.” The Pandora’s have since moved into a new unit in the same apartment complex and the couple is starting to breathe easier again.

The Red Cross responds to home fires every day averaging two fires per day in Colorado. Each response is different and each response is critical to those people who have suffered a loss. If you would like more information about home fire safety visit our web site at www.redcross.org/firesafety.

If you would like to support the Red Cross as a volunteer or by making a donation visit www.redcross.org.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Giving with meaning...now has even more meaning

Florence and Don Peck at their temporary home. "Before
we knew what we needed Red Cross was there"

By Mary Urban
Photos by Nigel F. Holderby/American Red Cross

On 11/13/2016 Don Peck and his wife Florence Myles-Peck escaped from their burning home in the early morning hours. Because they had working smoke alarms they were able to get out safely, but they indicated it was “only about 15 minutes before the roof collapsed.  When we spoke with them, they were very thankful the Red Cross had been there. Florence said, “You were the first ones there. Before we knew what we needed, Red Cross was there and knew what to do.”

From the moment you realize your house is on fire and your life is in danger, survival of household members is paramount.  “We just left everything and got out,” said Don. The Pecks were standing in the yard with literally the clothes on their backs. The Red Cross provided the elderly couple with a Client Assistance Card, or CAC.  This card provides money for food, hotels and clothing. “The card was great because the banks were closed and we don’t use those ATMS’” said Florence.

The Peck's home, now unliveable, waits for repairs. Red Cross
helped them move foreward after the home fire. 
Don, a military veteran, said he and Florence have always given a small gift to the Red Cross. “It seems like such a little amount now that I see how much it means to people who find themselves in a spot like this. We’re not destitute,” he went on to say, “and after this experience I plan to increase our gift in the future.” He went on to express the “attitude of gratitude” this situation has given him. He looked over at his lovely wife and shared with me a few things that were most important to him. “I’m grateful that we are safe…and thankful to the Red Cross for taking the worry out of that night.” The Peck’s home is expected to be unlivable for 3-4 months.

In November, 2016, Red Cross responded to help nearly 150 people who were affected by a home fire disaster across the Colorado & Wyoming Region. That’s an average of twice a day where we provided help and hope right here in our community. Your Gift on Colorado Gives Day provides:

·         A blanket to wrap around a disaster victim ($5)
·         A hot meal to someone affected by disaster ($10)
·         A blanket, meal, snack & comfort kit to a disaster survivor ($20)
·         A full day of food and shelter for a disaster evacuee ($50)
·         A full day of food and shelter for a family of 4 ($200)

Disaster knows no socioeconomic status nor does it discriminate the time of day or night it can strike. These folks saw firsthand where their donations were used and while it’s not something we ever hope anyone goes through, they wanted to share the importance of that gift with others, and what it meant to them. Click here to give a gift today: Colorado Gives Day 2016

With colder weather and in the midst of holidays, space heaters, fire places, candles and unattended stoves can all be potential fire risks.

Some Quick Tips to help prevent/prepare for house fires:
A fire alarm installed on every level of your home
Two ways to escape out of your home
Make sure space heaters are at 3 least feet away from blankets, curtains rugs or anything flammable
Practice escaping at least twice a year.
If clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL
Call 911 when all household members are safe

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Am The Red Cross in My Community



PHOTO: Red Cross Volunteer, Guy Forti, visits with a Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy
while providing nourishment from the Mobile Feeding Vehicle.
Halloween, 2016, was a busy day for members of the Castle Rock community. Red Cross responded to help support emergency personnel working the scene of an investigation, and set up an evacuation center for residents of the Plum Creek neighborhood who were unable to remain in their homes.

(See 9news report here: 9news.com/news )

 

Castle Rock Chief of Police, Jack Cauley, addressed the residents in a briefing at the Red Cross evacuation center, saying “It’s nice to see everyone come together to help each other. Not every community has the resources for something like this and we’re proud to work closely with the Red Cross, the Fire Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s office and so many others who’ve responded to help our community today.” 

 

Regardless of the emergency, Red Cross is there. Providing hope to a family who finds themselves with nowhere to turn, giving help to the responders as they work countless hours fighting fires, searching for a missing child, or keeping a neighborhood safe. In the past 10 days, our teams have provided support to six different types of responses, from single family house fire, apartment fire, wildfire, hazmat and criminal investigations, and a vehicle accident into a home. In these responses, hundreds of people, clients and responders, received hope and help from the Red Cross in their community.

 
To learn more about how you can be the Red Cross in YOUR community visit redcross.org  today!
 



About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Helping the Homeless Veteran

By Bill Fortune

Every year the Red Cross participates in the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at a variety of locations across Colorado and Wyoming. At those events, the Red Cross has provided a variety of items and resources to help our homeless veterans.
Red Cross volunteer Allison Smith has a big smile as she helps
veteran Robert Esquibel  check out his comfort kit bag at the
 Stand Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
 on 10/18/16. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)

Homeless Veteran Stand Down events are held each year in Colorado and Wyoming and each year the number of participating agencies and organizations providing services and resources has grown.

L to R- United States Air Force Msgt Robert M. Henneman
watches as veteran Dennis Howk accepts a Red Cross
comfort kit bag from volunteer Thea Wasche at the Stand
 Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
on 10/18/16. Sgt Henneman was Mr. Howk's "Battle Buddy"
at the event. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)
Recently, the Red Cross provided services and resources at the Colorado Springs Stand Down where volunteers met with veterans to provide personal hygiene items and clothing. The supplies were provided through the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program that has supported service members, their families and veterans for more than 100 years. More than 100 homeless veterans were supported at the event in Colorado Springs with 86 additional people, not considered homeless, who came in to meet with the various agencies. According to John Crousoe from the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition the number of homeless veterans attending the stand down in Colorado springs decreased this year over last year. "That's a good sign," Crousoe said. "It means we are making a difference.

Homeless Veterans Stand Downs were held in Pueblo, Durango as well as Colorado Springs this year with three more events coming up in Cheyenne (10/27), Grand Junction (10/28) and Fort Collins (11/4).

If you would like to learn more about the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program visit redcross.org/SAF.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Teaming up with Air Force Academy Cadets to Save Lives


Cadets get organized for Smoke Alarm Installation Day.
Photo by Joan Green/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado teamed up with cadets from the Air Force Academy to help save lives. Over three hundred cadets gathered in the Field House parking lot at the Air Force Academy early Friday morning, October 14, 2016. They joined with volunteers from the American Red Cross as part of the Academy's Day of Service.

"Seeing over 300 cadets all at one time is a little overwhelming," said Laura Kozuzsek, Prepare CO: American Red Cross Program Development Specialist/AmeriCorps VISTA. "Knowing they were ready to help us with our Home Fire Campaign was amazing."
Academy Cadet Mark Brown installs a home
smoke detector at the residence of Thelma Strom.
Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross

Putting together an event of that magnitude was no small task. Especially considering that Kozuszek has been with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado for only about 3 months. She, along with the support of Sally Broomfield, Disaster Program Manager, organized the event from top to bottom.

Once the cadets were organized into teams, indoctrinated with the plan and given the tools to get the work done they were loaded into vehicles and headed out. By 10 A.M. everyone was in place and the work began across much of the Colorado Springs area. Each team of cadets and Red Crossers went door-to-door installing alarms, checking alarms and providing fire safety information. By the end of the day nearly 350 smoke alarms had been installed.

"I feel good about what we accomplished today," Kozuszek said. "The cadets went right to work and did a great job."


Big shout outs go to the following organizations for their support for our home fire campaign:

Academy Cadets Chiu (left) and Ermitano provide
homeowner Blanca Gomalez with Red Cross
 home fire safety and emergency preparedness
materials following the installation of a new
smoke detector in her home. Photo by R.W.Firth/
American Red Cross
Habitat for Humanity
Cimarron Hills Fire Department
Fountain Fire Department
School District 11
School District 49
Olympic training Center
Biaggi's
U.S.A.F. Academy
American Red Cross of Northern Colorado
American Red Cross of Mile High Area
American Red Cross of Western Colorado

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign seeks to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the five year perid that began in the fall of 2014. Since its inception more than 300,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country with nearly 8000 in the Colorado and Wyoming region.

If you would like to help with the Home Fire Campaign you can donate to the Red Cross, partner with the Red Cross as an organization  or volunteer to help install alarms as an individual. Visit redcross.org/colorado/firesafety.

To see more photos from the October 14 Smoke Alarm Installation Day visit out Flickr album:
Home Fire Campaign_Oct 14, 2016.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Junkins Fire Response

The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

Red Cross volunteers ready to help at the Wetmore Fire
Station Disaster Assistance Center. Photo by Bill Fortune
American Red Cross
Updated Monday, October 24, 2016 NOTE:This will be the last update for the Junkins Fire Response.

For fire information go to:
Facebook: :www.facebook.com/JunkinsFire/
InciWeb post: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071/#
Call the Information Line: 719-283-1710

As containment grows on the Junkins Fire near Westcliff people have began returning to their homes. The Red Cross closed the shelter preciously located at the First Southern Baptist Church in Florence.

Disaster assistance centers were opened in Pueblo at the State Fairgrounds and at the Wetmore Fire Station to provide resources and referrals to those who had evacuated nearly a week ago and were heading back to their homes.

Red Cross volunteers were at both centers providing clean up supplies, shovels and individual assistance.

Evacuees check the fire information at the Wetmore Fire
Station. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Disaster Assistance Centers remain open in Pueblo, at the Colorado State Fairgrounds and in Westcliffe at the Custer County Share facility. Cleanup supplies and other useful items have been moved to those locations and are available there for pickup.  The Adventist Disaster Service will maintain a distribution and collection center for donated items. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire is welcome to those centers for additional support.

Anyone needing additional assistance from the Red Cross is asked to call our 24-hour response number at 800-417-0495.

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Red Cross cleanup supplies available at both Disaster
Assistance Centers. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Crosss

Updated: Noon, Friday, October 21, 2016

Many of the evacuees from the Junkins Fire are being allowed to return and today marks the beginning of the recovery phase. Organizations, nonprofits as well as state and local governments are working together to provide support and resources for those people affected by the Junkins Fire in Pueblo and Custer Counties.

The evacuee shelter remains open in Florence at the First Southern Baptist Church of Florence, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO. Seven people slept at the shelter overnight Thursday with several more registering for meals and information.
Red Cross Disaster Assessment
team at the Junkins Fire. Photo
American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers are positioned at the Emergency Operations Center in Westcliffe to help coordinate shelter and feeding requirements. They are also at the Florence shelter to provide comfort and support. A team of volunteers were out in the fire area to assessing damage to homes.

Disaster Assistance Centers have been opened in both Custer and Pueblo Counties:
Custer County Disaster Assistance Center - Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station, 200 County Rd 290, Wetmore, CO. Hours of operation: Friday 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and Saturday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services Available: Reentry passes, clean up supplies, water and other recovery information
Pueblo County Disaster Assistance Center - Colorado Building, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Hour of operation - Friday 10 A.M. to 7 P.M., Saturday 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services available - Clean up supplies, fire information, recovery information, food, water and used clothing.

Delbert Hayden (R) and Chris Hayden from Adventist Disaster
Services stand in front of the vast amount of supplies available
to people affected by the Junkins Fire. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross
The Adventist Disaster Services have taken on the collection, warehousing and distribution of items for those impacted by the Junkin Fire. Anyone wishing to donate can bring any item (clothing, small furniture, non-perishable food items, blankets, etc.) to the Disaster Assistance Center in Pueblo. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire who is in need can pick up a variety of items. Pueblo County Department of Social Services is also on hand in Pueblo to provide food and financial assistance to those affected by the fire.



Links for additional information:
Custer County: http://www.custercountygov.com/
Pueblo County: http://www.puebloemergency.info
Fremont County: http://www.fremontco.com/

Complete closure and evacuation information is on
Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071

The latest press release from Custer County is available at http://custercountygov.com

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Update:Thursday, October 20, 2016, 4:00 P.M.
As our support continues for the evacuees from the Junkins Fire, the Red Cross has one shelter open to provide a warm, safe place for people to stay. That shelter is located at 303 E. Third Street in Florence, CO.
Red Cross volunteers Lee Lampbert (l) and Ed Flannery work
in the kitchen at the Florence shelter. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross

Some people are being allowed to return home as containment on the fire continues to grow. For the latest list of those areas where mandatory evacuation has been lifted please see the latest press release from Custer County at http://custercountygov.com/pdf/JunkinsFire_PressRelease1.pdf.

A Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) has been opened at the Wetmore Fire Department. Re-Entry passes must be obtained at the Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station located at 200 County Road 290, Wetmore, CO 81253. Passes are available from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M, today and again on Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Residents may also pick up re-entry supplies at the DAC.

A Disaster Assistance Center is open in Pueblo at the Colorado Building at the Colorado State Fir Grounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Re-entry supplies are available at this center. Donations to help those recovering from the fire can be dropped off a that location. Hours on Friday are 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Anyone returning to their home after the fire will experience a significant clean up and risks from ash and smoke. People are urged to use caution when returning home. Red Cross Cleanup supplies are available at the Pueblo Disaster Assistance Center and at the Wetmore Disaster Assistance Center.

Update: Thursday, October 20, 2016, 9:00 A.M.


Shelter sign for the Red Cross as the the sun sets through
smoke from the Junkins Fire. Photo by American Red Cross
The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

The shelter that was located in the Agricultural Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo was officially closed effective at 9:00 A.M. today. The shelter at the Florence Christian Church in Florence remains open. Seven people stayed at the shelter overnight.

Active Red Cross shelters open to support evacuees for the Junkins Fire:

Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Share Center in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

Volunteer Walt Palmer (in vest) speaks to local media about
Red Cross support for evacuees. Photo by Americna
Red Cross
Other donations: Items such as clothing, towels, etc., are currently not being collected. Please hold items of that type until the recovery phase begins for those people affected by the Junkins Fire. Once residents are allowed into the fire area it is likely that Disaster Assistance Centers will be opened to support the recovery. At that time it will be announced what donations will be accepted.


If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer so that we have the resources we need to take care of local disasters and emergencies please visit www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteer




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Update: Wednesday, October 19, 11:00 A.M.

Incident Command Center for the Junkins Fire in Westcliffe,
CO. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Shelters were opened Monday as the initial set of evacuation orders were given.

Pueblo - Colorado State Fairgrounds (Agriculture Center) - 1001 Beulah St, Pueblo, CO
Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

As of Wednesday, October 19, 3 people stayed at the shelter in Pueblo with 10 people staying at the shelter in Florence.

Evacuees have cots ready at Colorado State Fairgrounds
shelter in Pueblo. Photo by American Red Cross
The shelter in Pueblo has been placed in standby mode and the family staying there has been moved to the shelter in Florence. The Pueblo shelter will close at 9:00 A.M, Thursday, October 20, 2016. The Florence shelter will remain open as long as needed.

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Care and Share in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

video

Monday, October 10, 2016

Red Cross Disaster Academy in San Luis Valley

Training material for the SLV disaster academy
Photo by  Ayesha Williams/Red Cross
By Bill Fortune

The American Red Cross of Western Colorado hosted a disaster training academy in Alamosa, CO from Friday, Oct 7 through Sunday, Oct 9. More than 20 volunteers were trained in a variety of topics ranging from managing a disaster response to CPR and AED certification. Bill Werner, the disaster program manager, coordinated the training academy.  "Our goal is to bolster the Red Cross volunteer team in the San Luis Valley so that we can respond when people need us," He said in between training classes. "We need all kinds of people to help us provide the services that people expect from the Red Cross."

Students learn more about sheltering at the SLV
disaster academy. Photo by Vilate Thacker/
Red Cross

The volunteers in the San Luis valley respond regularly to home fires where they provide direct assistance to the people affected. That assistance might be in the form of replacing personal hygiene items, medications, help with temporary lodging or helping them deal emotionally with a loss. The volunteers are also trained to open shelters if needed, provide support to wildland fire activities and provide preparedness education.

Recently, volunteers hosted a class for students in grades 3-5 called The Pillowcase Project. Students learned how to protect themselves and respond to various emergencies. Another important campaign in the Valley is the Home Fire Campaign. Volunteers partner with fire departments and organizations to install free smoke alarms in homes in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

If you would like to be part of the Red Cross as a volunteer, anywhere is Colorado, go on line to redcross.org/colorado and click on Volunteer.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Deploy to Aid Hurricane Evacuation


Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Continue to Support Hurricane Matthew Relief


Update:Oct, 13, 2016
As of Thursday morning, October 13, the Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross has sent more than 30 volunteers to support the relief efforts for Hurricane Matthew. In addition, three emergency response vehicles (ERV) were sent. Most of the Colorado and Wyoming volunteers are in North Carolina helping with the ongoing flood problems in that state.

Sarah and Edgar Jacobs were rescued from the home and
went to the Red Cross shelter. Photo by American Red Cross
Here are the overnight shelter numbers for the Hurricane Matthew response. While the numbers are slowly declining the need for help continues.

Across four states, more than 3,200 people stayed in 61 Red Cross and community shelters Wednesday night:

·         In North Carolina, 39 shelters with more than 2,600 people
·         In South Carolina, 14 shelters with 437 people
·         In Georgia, 4 shelters with 123 people

·         In Florida, 4 shelters with 40 people 



Gerald Hargrove left his home with only the clothes
 on his back, and was upset by the “mess that my home is”
 when he evacuated to come to the shelter. Photo
American Red Cross
Since the disaster response began, the Red Cross has mobilized 3,000 disaster workers, 155 emergency response vehicles—nearly half of our fleet—and more than 100 trailers filled with water, ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. More volunteers, vehicles and supplies are being mobilized now to supplement relief efforts.

The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate response efforts to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

In Haiti more than 200 American Red Cross staff—about 80 percent of whom are Haitian nationals—are helping to distribute immediate relief supplies to the more than 61,000 displaced residents. To address the increasing threat of cholera, the American Red Cross will target cholera-prevention kits to medical facilities.

Sally Bumgardner came to the Red Cross shelter because
she wanted to help. She stayed at the shelter and helped
the Red Cross help her community. Photo American Red Cross
Given the extent of the damage and the continued difficultly in reaching several of the affected areas, the American Red Cross is also playing a key coordination role with local authorities and international humanitarian organizations to ensure life-saving support and supplies reach all those in need as soon as possible. Generators and telecommunications equipment to augment our support capabilities arrived in Haiti on October 8; additional relief supplies, such as water purification products, shelter kits, and mosquito nets are being procured locally and internationally.

More information about the Hurricane Matthew relief effort is on our website at redcross.orgLearn more about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew here.

The American Red Cross needs your support to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew. MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
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More Colorado and Wyoming Assets Deploying for Hurricane Matthew Relief
Emergency Response Vehicles Rolling out on Monday

Denver, Sunday, October 09, 2016 - As Hurricane Matthew continued its path of destruction up the southeast coast, the American Red Cross expanded its massive sheltering effort to span five states. More than 13,400 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters.

Across five states, more than 13,400 people woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters:
·        In North Carolina, 80 evacuation shelters with over 4,000 people
·         In South Carolina, 61 evacuation shelters with over 4,500 people
·         In Georgia, 34 evacuation shelters with 4,500 people
·         In Florida, 72 evacuation shelters with more than  340 people
·         In Virginia, one evacuation shelter with 25 people

Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross Disaster Responders Step Up to Help
To support the response and recovery effort the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will be sending people and equipment to the affected region.
An ERV supports disaster relief with
meals and supplies. Photo by
Arnett Luce/American Red Cross

Three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) will depart Monday, October 10, at 9:30 A.M. from the Mile High Area office, 444 Sherman St., Denver, along with six crew members. The vehicles and teams will travel to Durbin, GA to support the delivery of food and supplies to those neighborhoods hardest hit by the hurricane.

By the end of the day Monday, the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will have activated 22 people to support the relief effort. Many f those will serve to help people in the shelters. Others will be doing support work such as food and supply delivery, resource management, asset protection, logistics, emotional support and health services, client casework and community partnership coordination. One of those volunteers activated will be serving virtually from Denver to support social media activities.




Where are they going?
North Carolina – 1
South Carolina – 2
Georgia – 6 plus three ERVs

Florida – 13

Shelter YouTube videos are available at:


Latest Red Cross News Release is at:

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Workers will bring help to those avoiding disaster as Hurricane Matthew hits Southeast U.S.

Denver, Thursday, October 6, 2016 The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster volunteers to Florida to aide in the evacuation efforts in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
A Red Cross volunteer comforts a child (stock photo/
American Red Cross

Christina Eyre deployed to Florida Tuesday, Oct. 4, to work as shelter support with more specific duties to be assigned upon arrival. Eyre is from Denver and is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado. 

Hannah Price is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado out of Littleton, CO. Price deployed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to Orlando, Florida to assist with shelters.

Sylvia Raumaker deployed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to provide support for shelters with more duties to be assigned. Raumaker is a member of the Wyoming Red Cross chapter and resides in Jackson, Wyoming.

Dennis Hoyt is deployed as a government liaison in Florida for Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Hoyt is a long-time volunteer from Walsenburg, CO who has deployed a number of occasions including the Texas Floods of 2016.  

Rubin Marez will deploy to Georgia to work with the logistics operation of the disaster response. Rubin is from Loveland, CO and has been a long time volunteer with the Northern Colorado Chapter.

Phillip Pallone is from Fort Collins and volunteers with the Northern Colorado Chapter. He will deploy to Florida to serve as a supervisor at one of the shelters.

Catherine Leventhal will deploy virtually remaining in her home to help monitor and communicate via social media. Catherine has been a long time volunteer with the Mile High Chapter.

HOW CAN I HELP?

The best way to help with the response to Hurricane Matthew is to give a financial donation. The Red Cross depends on donation to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.